Russia clearly sees the duel of words between Turkey and Greece as a “fishermen’s fight” where none of the parties hit hard to their opponent to prevent the boat from capsizing. In Syria, calculations are changed, the PKK scenario in NATO is different from what we are told. Before elaborating on them, we must first touch on domestic politics in order to give the philosophical and ethical title “illusion and reality” its due.
The words of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Head of Organization, Erkan Kandemir, is a perfect example of an illusion. Kandemir announced the formula for winning the election at the Kızılcahamam meetings chaired by President Tayyip Erdoğan. According to the news of Nuray Babacan from Hürriyet, if each of the 12 million members of the AKP took one more person with them to the ballot box, it would make 24 million votes and the election would be won.
The head of the AKP organization is probably unaware of the reactions the heads of the provinces faced during the visits of the tradesmen in Gaziantep and Van. If this is an illusion, the example of reality came from AKP Deputy Chairman Numan Kurtulmuş.
“Economy is the reason for dissent from the AKP” he said.
Erdogan’s statement that Van 100th Yıl University, which was founded in 1982, was established during the AKP period is not an illusion; let’s just say that it has nothing to do with reality to prevent prosecutors from working overtime.
Illusion: War with Greece
The EFES-2022 military exercise was impressive to be honest. In my opinion, the most important aspect of the exercise, which was held with the participation of 37 countries at a time when Greece was raising its voice in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean with the support of the USA and France, was that Turkish Armed Forces used weapons designed and produced in Turkey. Particularly, Akıncı SİHAs, which departed from their base in Batman, 1,200 km to the East, participated in air defense during the landing exercise and it is a kind of show that can change the military equations in the region.
President Erdogan warned Greece during the exercise, saying “Make your mind up, I mean it seriously”. Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar said, “With the exercise, Greece’s continued armament in the Eastern Aegean islands was responded to.” It cools down the crisis. Akar is a soldier-politician who lived through the 1996 Kardak Crisis, who knew that fighting Greece within the NATO system would not be as easy as the 1974 Cyprus operation.
Moscow also does not take the Ankara-Athens verbal duel seriously. Aleksandr Bartoş, Member of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, said: “The escalation of this tension is not in the interest of NATO or the USA.” “They will reconcile.”
In summary: the show off of the politicians in power as if there will be a fight with Greece is an election-oriented illusion.
US-Russia balance in Syria
President Erdogan made an unusual statement on May 23. According to the statement he made after the cabinet meeting, he signaled a major operation against the PKK and its affiliates in Syria (and possibly Iraq) territory after the National Security Council on May 26. It was unusual because, since the attempted coup of 15 July 2016, whenever Erdogan had said “We are entering”, the military would launch the operation that night or the next day.
First, the USA said “Don’t do it”. The Presidency answered that with a “we are not going to ask you” statement. Erdogan downsized the target by saying “we will enter” almost every other day; While he was talking about an area of 30 km depth, which is hundreds of kilometers long, he targeted the towns of Tel Rifat, where the PKK cooperates with Russia (while Iran’s Revolutionary Guards set up a base with Hezbollah), and Manbij, where the PKK cooperates with the United States. The second “Don’t do” response from the USA came as Russia said “Turkey should not enter the places we evacuated (to move to Ukraine), let’s hand it over to the Syrian army”.
Today is June 13. I don’t ask “Why hasn’t Türkiye entered Syria yet?”; a journalist’s job cannot be warmongering. However, we have a statement from Minister Akar who told the journalists he invited to the EFES-2022 Exercise, “The operation is a matter of mathematics and logistics”; “The calculations are made for this, and when the place and time comes, action is taken.”
Some questions are hidden here.
First of all, since this calculation is still ongoing, for what purpose could Erdogan have announced an unprepared operation in advance? If Ankara wanted to turn the balances in NATO in favor of Russia and the USA, the current picture does not confirm it so far. On the other hand, the opposition claims that “He is talking about the PKK operation in Syria to divert attention from the economic crisis”. However, the fight against the PKK and a military operation in a neighboring country are serious issues. Issues that concern national security, are used in domestic politics, will cause bigger problems in the future, and will affect the economy more negatively.
It seems that the international system, including the enemies of the USA and Russia, does not want Erdogan to postpone the 2023 election on the grounds of a state of war, albeit for different reasons. It takes effort to try not to understand this.
The NATO illusion
On June 12, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made another statement on Turkey’s stance against the PKK in order to approve Sweden and Finland’s applications for NATO membership.
Stoltenberg said that Turkey’s concerns about the fight against terrorism are justified and that he is in constant contact with Sweden and Finland on this issue. It is known that the Secretary General, who made this statement after he sent his deputy to Ankara last week and received his report, said more in favor of Turkey in closed meetings.
Stoltenberg doesn’t just do this with his personal stance. In NATO, where decisions are taken unanimously, there are allies who use every opportunity to hinder Turkey, and there are also those who know the importance of Turkey’s continuing to take place in the Western alliance with its strategic stance, even if they are against Erdogan.